Sheffield Crown Court heard today, Monday, June 29, how Albanian Adrian Hysaj, aged 49, of no fixed abode, had come to the UK but after losing work he was offered accommodation and food to oversee cannabis plants at a house on Green Lane, Rotherham.
Beverly Wright, prosecuting, said officers raided the property on April 17 and 145 cannabis plants were found in over five rooms.
Ms Wright said: “The defendant was seen with the key coming out of the rear door. He had a mobile phone with him and, in essence, in over five rooms there were 145 cannabis plants.”
Hysaj told police he had come to the UK but when work in Birmingham dried-up during the coronavirus crisis others brought him to Rotherham.
Ms Wright said Hysaj became the “gardener” overseeing the cannabis plants at Green Lane.
The defendant pleaded guilty to producing the class B drug cannabis.
Ian Goldsack, defending, said Hysaj had paid to come to the UK and he had aimed to work in construction to provide for his family and four children in Albania but work dried-up.
Mr Goldsack said Hysaj was offered work in Rotherham, transported to the area by others who took his passport and deposited him in this house with food and a bed.
Mr Goldsack added: “He was anxious I pass on his apology to the court for what he involved himself in.”
Judge Michael Slater sentenced Hysaj to eight-months of custody.